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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 377-H.F.No. 1863 
                  An act relating to ethics in government; requiring 
                  lobbyists to report gifts of $5 or more; prohibiting 
                  gifts by lobbyists and interested persons to certain 
                  officials under certain conditions; regulating certain 
                  solicitations by political party units; revising 
                  procedure for advisory opinions; amending Minnesota 
                  Statutes 1992, sections 10A.02, subdivision 12; 
                  10A.04, subdivision 4; and 10A.065, by adding a 
                  subdivision; Minnesota Statutes 1993 Supplement, 
                  section 10A.065, subdivision 5; proposing coding for 
                  new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 10A; and 471. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 10A.02, 
        subdivision 12, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 12.  [ADVISORY OPINIONS.] (a) The board may issue and 
        publish advisory opinions on the requirements of this chapter 
        based upon real or hypothetical situations.  An application for 
        an advisory opinion may be made only by an individual or 
        association who wishes to use the opinion to guide the 
        individual's or the association's own conduct.  The board shall 
        issue written opinions on all such questions submitted to it 
        within 30 days after receipt of written application, unless a 
        majority of the board agrees to extend the time limit.  An 
           (b) A written advisory opinion shall lapse the day the 
        regular session of the legislature adjourns in the second year 
        following the date of the opinion. issued by the board is 
        binding on the board in any subsequent board proceeding 
        concerning the person making or covered by the request and is a 
        defense in a judicial proceeding that involves the subject 
        matter of the opinion and is brought against the person making 
        or covered by the request unless: 
           (1) the board has amended or revoked the opinion before the 
        initiation of the board or judicial proceeding, has notified the 
        person making or covered by the request of its action, and has 
        allowed at least 30 days for the person to do anything that 
        might be necessary to comply with the amended or revoked 
        opinion; 
           (2) the request has omitted or misstated material facts; or 
           (3) the person making or covered by the request has not 
        acted in good faith in reliance on the opinion. 
           (c) A request for an opinion and the opinion itself are 
        nonpublic data.  The board, however, may publish an opinion or a 
        summary of an opinion, but may not include in the publication 
        the name of the requester, the name of a person covered by a 
        request from an agency or political subdivision, or any other 
        information that might identify the requester unless the person 
        consents to the inclusion. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 10A.04, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  (a) The report shall include such information as 
        the board may require from the registration form and the 
        information required by this subdivision for the reporting 
        period. 
           (b) Each lobbyist shall report the lobbyist's total 
        disbursements on lobbying, separately listing lobbying to 
        influence legislative action, lobbying to influence 
        administrative action, and lobbying to influence the official 
        actions of a metropolitan governmental unit, and a breakdown of 
        disbursements for each of those kinds of lobbying into 
        categories specified by the board, including but not limited to 
        the cost of publication and distribution of each publication 
        used in lobbying; other printing; media, including the cost of 
        production; postage; travel; fees, including allowances; 
        entertainment; telephone and telegraph; and other expenses. 
           (c) Each lobbyist shall report the amount and nature of 
        each honorarium, gift, loan, item or benefit, excluding 
        contributions to a candidate, equal in value to $50 $5 or more, 
        given or paid to any public or local official by the lobbyist or 
        any employer or any employee of the lobbyist.  The list shall 
        include the name and address of each public or local official to 
        whom the honorarium, gift, loan, item or benefit was given or 
        paid and the date it was given or paid.  A lobbyist need report 
        only the aggregate amount and nature of food or beverages given 
        or made available to all members of the legislature or a house 
        of the legislature or to all members of a local legislative 
        body, along with the name of the legislative body and the date 
        it was given or made available. 
           (d) Each lobbyist shall report each original source of 
        funds in excess of $500 in any year used for the purpose of 
        lobbying to influence legislative action, each such source of 
        funds used to influence administrative action, and each such 
        source of funds used to influence the official action of 
        metropolitan governmental units.  The list shall include the 
        name, address and employer, or, if self-employed, the occupation 
        and principal place of business, of each payer of funds in 
        excess of $500. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 10A.065, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 1a.  [PARTY UNIT SOLICITATIONS.] A political party 
        unit shall not solicit or receive at an event hosted by a 
        candidate for the legislature or by a candidate for 
        constitutional office a contribution from a lobbyist, political 
        committee, or political fund during a regular session of the 
        legislature. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1993 Supplement, section 
        10A.065, subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [POLITICAL COMMITTEE.] Except as provided in 
        subdivision 1a, this section does not apply to a political 
        committee established by a state political party; by the party 
        organization within a congressional district, county, 
        legislative district, municipality, or precinct; by a candidate 
        for a judicial office; or to a member of such a political 
        committee acting solely on behalf of the committee. 
           Sec. 5.  [10A.071] [CERTAIN GIFTS BY LOBBYISTS AND 
        PRINCIPALS PROHIBITED.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] (a) The definitions in this 
        subdivision apply to this section. 
           (b) "Gift" means money, real or personal property, a 
        service, a loan, a forbearance or forgiveness of indebtedness, 
        or a promise of future employment, that is given and received 
        without the giver receiving consideration of equal or greater 
        value in return. 
           (c) "Official" means a public official, an employee of the 
        legislature, or a local official of a metropolitan governmental 
        unit. 
           Subd. 2.  [PROHIBITION.] A lobbyist or principal may not 
        give a gift or request another to give a gift to an official.  
        An official may not accept a gift from a lobbyist or principal. 
           Subd. 3.  [EXCEPTIONS.] (a) The prohibitions in this 
        section do not apply if the gift is: 
           (1) a contribution as defined in section 10A.01, 
        subdivision 7; 
           (2) services to assist an official in the performance of 
        official duties, including but not limited to providing advice, 
        consultation, information, and communication in connection with 
        legislation, and services to constituents; 
           (3) services of insignificant monetary value; 
           (4) a plaque or similar memento recognizing individual 
        services in a field of specialty or to a charitable cause; 
           (5) a trinket or memento of insignificant value; 
           (6) informational material of unexceptional value; or 
           (7) food or a beverage given at a reception, meal, or 
        meeting away from the recipient's place of work by an 
        organization before whom the recipient appears to make a speech 
        or answer questions as part of a program. 
           (b) The prohibitions in this section do not apply if the 
        gift is given: 
           (1) because of the recipient's membership in a group, a 
        majority of whose members are not officials, and an equivalent 
        gift is given to the other members of the group; or 
           (2) by a lobbyist or principal who is a member of the 
        family of the recipient, unless the gift is given on behalf of 
        someone who is not a member of that family. 
           Sec. 6.  [471.895] [CERTAIN GIFTS BY INTERESTED PERSONS 
        PROHIBITED.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] (a) The definitions in this 
        subdivision apply to this section. 
           (b) "Gift" has the meaning given it in section 10A.071, 
        subdivision 1. 
           (c) "Interested person" means a person or a representative 
        of a person or association that has a direct financial interest 
        in a decision that a local official is authorized to make. 
           (d) "Local official" means an elected or appointed official 
        of a county or city or of an agency, authority, or 
        instrumentality of a county or city. 
           Subd. 2.  [PROHIBITION.] An interested person may not give 
        a gift or request another to give a gift to a local official.  A 
        local official may not accept a gift from an interested person. 
           Subd. 3.  [EXCEPTIONS.] (a) The prohibitions in this 
        section do not apply if the gift is: 
           (1) a contribution as defined in section 211A.01, 
        subdivision 5; 
           (2) services to assist an official in the performance of 
        official duties, including but not limited to providing advice, 
        consultation, information, and communication in connection with 
        legislation, and services to constituents; 
           (3) services of insignificant monetary value; 
           (4) a plaque or similar memento recognizing individual 
        services in a field of specialty or to a charitable cause; 
           (5) a trinket or memento of insignificant value; 
           (6) informational material of unexceptional value; or 
           (7) food or a beverage given at a reception, meal, or 
        meeting away from the recipient's place of work by an 
        organization before whom the recipient appears to make a speech 
        or answer questions as part of a program. 
           (b) The prohibitions in this section do not apply if the 
        gift is given: 
           (1) because of the recipient's membership in a group, a 
        majority of whose members are not local officials, and an 
        equivalent gift is given to the other members of the group; or 
           (2) by an interested person who is a member of the family 
        of the recipient, unless the gift is given on behalf of someone 
        who is not a member of that family. 
           Presented to the governor March 18, 1994 
           Signed by the governor March 22, 1994, 11:41 a.m.